Metal CNC Lathe Turning a Crankshaft

U.S. manufacturers’ and machine shops’ new orders for machine tools rose to $351.85 million in May, according to AMT – the Association for Manufacturing Technology in its latest U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders report. The totals represent a 3.1% increase over the comparable April figure, and a 21.8% rise over the May 2016 total. It is the third month-over-month increase in new orders during 2017

For the year to-date, U.S. manufacturers’ new orders are valued at $1.67 billion, up 7.4% over the January-May 2016 total.

AMT’s monthly USMTO report is an account of actual totals for machine tool sales, nationwide and in six regions, as reported by participating companies that produce and distribute metal-cutting and metal-forming and -fabricating equipment, including domestically manufactured and imported machinery and equipment.

The USMTO is an indicator of manufacturers’ future planning, in contrast to current activities (which are covered by the monthly Cutting Tool Market Report.)

“As we’ve now seen year-over-year growth for four consecutive months, and with that growth acceleration, all signs indicate a continued trend of strength for the manufacturing technology industry,” stated AMT vice president – Strategic Analytics Pat McGibbon.

According to AMT, automotive suppliers placed “some significant orders” during May. That activity paired with ongoing investments by machine shops, indicating a need for more production capacity.

AMT also noted that rising manufacturing technology order volumes complement other positive economic indicators, such as increases in industrial production, export volumes, the industrial expansion evident in the ISM’s Purchasing Managers Index, and consumer confidence indexes.

“With activity growing in many geographic regions and continued strengthening in key industries like job shops, autos and aerospace, all of this suggests the market will continue to grow and stay strong for the coming months,” added McGibbon.

In the Northeast, manufacturers ordered $58.06 million worth of metal-cutting machinery during May, 25.6% more than during April and 20.1% more than during May 2016. The region’s year-to-date manufacturing technology new orders now total $287.76 million, which is down 4.7% compared to the January-May 2016 total.

Read more: US Machine Tool Orders Still Rising